Brush fire blazes through Greenbrier County - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: 40-acre brush fire deemed accidental

Posted:

UPDATE:

The brush fire that brought over 35 firefighters and seven fire departments to Brink Road near Maxwelton Tuesday evening has been ruled accidental by West Virginia fire foresters.

Investigators told WVVA Wednesday that a resident dumped out ashes from a wood stove, which ignited as winds kicked them up.

The fire spread quickly across the open land because of windy and dry conditions.

Foresters were out marking the ground Wednesday when WVVA returned to the scene. They followed the patterns of burned grass on in the pasture until they found the pile of ashes along Brink Road.

Firefighters warn against placing ashes and other coals on dry ground, adding that high winds can spread a fire and quickly make it even more dangerous.

Resident Edgar LaRue said he initially tried to put the fire out, but it was too strong and he had to fall back.

"Flames were coming in rolls like 20 feet in the air," he said. "You couldn't do anything... you just had to turn and run away from it."

He said the first thing that popped into his mind was concern for his family and his home.

"I was just wondering if [we and the houses] were all going to get burned up," he said. "It could have happened. We're just so thankful it didn't happen.

Only one barn was destroyed in the blaze, and there were no injuries.

The barn's owner was still assessing the damage to his property.

LaRue said the man has good support from his friends in the community as he makes his next steps forward after the fire.

Chief Wayne Pennington from the Lewisburg Fire Department said putting the fire out in such a timely and effective manner was critical, and helped to save nearby homes from the flames.

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MAXWELTON, W. Va (WVVA)-- Seven fire departments responded to a brush fire off Brink Road near Maxwelton.

The fire destroyed 40 acres, said Lewisburg Fire Chief Wayne Pennington. 

Pennington said most of the land was open pasture, and no one was injured in the fire. Four landowners were affected by the blaze, but only one barn was destroyed.

The cause is still being determined.

Crews were on the scene for nearly 4 hours to put out the blaze. It took 38 firefighters to get the job done.

Pennington said extreme wind, some gusts over 50 miles per hour, and dry conditions contributed to the quick pace at which the fire spread. Flames were blowing against the ground, sometimes at lengths of 20-25 feet.

Considering the size of the blaze and very windy conditions, Pennington said it was a testament to the firefighters and law enforcement on the scene that the blaze was contained without injury or extreme property damage.

Lewisburg, Fairlea, White Sulphur Springs, Frankford, Clintonville, Ronceverte, and Smoot fire departments were on the scene, along with ambulance services and Greenbrier County Sheriff's Deputies.

Stay tuned to WVVA for more details as they become available.

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MAXWELTON (WVVA) -- Crews are on the scene of a brush fire in Greenbrier County. 

Numerous departments including White Sulphur Springs, Fairlea, Lewisburg and Frankford are fighting the blaze.

The call came in around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

So far the fire has engulfed more than five acres of land and at least one structure is burning.

No word on any injuries at this time.

Stay tuned to WVVA on air and online for new developments. 

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